Workers at Ford’s Michigan assembly plant
DETROIT — Ford Motor will expand its highly profitable truck lineup with a new small pickup called Maverick, the company confirmed Thursday.
The compact vehicle is expected to be smaller than Ford’s F-150 full-size pickup as well as its midsize Ranger. It could be among the smallest and cheapest pickups in the U.S., filling a void for some buyers as trucks have grown increasingly larger and pricier.
“We do think there’s some opportunity there because of how expensive trucks have gotten, how big they’ve gotten and the overall popularity of trucks,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive.
The pickup is being produced at Ford’s Hermosillo plant in Mexico alongside the company’s new Ford Bronco Sport SUV.
The Maverick is expected to go on sale by the end of this year, however a Ford spokeswoman declined to comment on additional details of the vehicle other than its name and unveiling next week.
“Months of rumors, spy shots and speculation have all led to this moment. It’s true – Ford is adding an all-new small pickup to the lineup, and it’s called Maverick,” Ford said in a release.
The Maverick will debut Tuesday with the help of actress Gabrielle Union on her Instagram and TikTok channels as well as Ford’s social media and Hulu, according to the company.
Automakers have largely offered compact pickups in international markets, leaving the U.S. for larger trucks. The vehicle could help Ford attract new customers, specifically on the West Coast, where smaller pickups and nondomestic brands perform well, according to Krebs.
Thursday is the first time Ford has confirmed the vehicle as well as its name. It comes a week after Ford’s stock price cracked $15 a share for the first time since 2015 following its inaugural investor day under CEO Jim Farley.
The event focused on Farley’s new “Ford+” plan to turn around its operations and expand into emerging markets such as connected vehicles and subscription services.
The Maverick was referenced during the event as a new unnamed “white space product” that would have better profit margins than the Ford Fusion sedan, which was previously produced at the plant.
The name Maverick is not new to Ford. It produced a two-door sedan with that name from 1969 to 1979. The company also used the name Maverick in Australia, China and Europe for several vehicles.
Analysts have said the Maverick will need to be priced well below the Ford Ranger and other midsize pickups to be competitive in the U.S. market. A two-door version of the Ranger starts at about $25,000. A four-door model starts at about $27,000, according to Ford’s website.
Additional details about the Maverick will be released during the vehicle’s unveiling next week, according to Ford.